Footscray railway station, Melbourne

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Footscray is a railway station in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, located in the suburb of Footscray, at the junction of the Sydenham and Werribee railway lines. The Williamstown line also passes through the station, along with V/Line services to the south-west, west, and north-west of Victoria. Footscray is classed as a Premium Station and is in Metcard Zone 1. It is the busiest non-CBD railway station in Melbourne based upon passenger boardings, and the sixth busiest overall, with an average of 13,700 boardings per day in 2009.

Facilities

Footscray is located between Irving Street and Hyde Street, with station access from Irving Street, Hyde Street, and McNab Avenue.

The station consists of an island layout and two side platforms; Platform 1 has a semi-large red brick building, platform 2 & 3 has a large red brick building housing an enclosed waiting area, ticket facilities and toilets, while platform 4 has a red brick building similar to platform 1. A large Metcard ticket vending machine is located inside the waiting area and at the entrance to platform 1, which is able to dispense most ticketing options available and also accept notes and coins. Small coin-only Metcard ticket vending machines are located inside the waiting area and at the entrance to platform 4.

Tram route 82 terminates near the station, on Leeds Street. Car parking facilities are available along McNab Avenue and Hyde Street. A footbridge is situated at the Down end of the station.

A disused signal box is located on the island platform at the Flinders Street end of the station, and a pair of dual gauge tracks form the mainly goods only South Kensington - West Footscray line under the station, running in a cutting before entering the Bunbury Street tunnel (built in 1928), providing a rail link to the Port of Melbourne and other freight terminals, as well as access to Southern Cross Station for the CountryLink XPT and The Overland.

In 2010, as a part of the Victorian Government's Footscray renewal program, a new $15 million rail footbridge opened at Footscray Station, within months the government announced that half of the bridge would need to be rebuilt to accommodate new platforms for the Regional Rail Link. As Ken Betts, a local Liberial candidate says, 'the railway station is a complete an utter mess', The canopies on the footbridge have designer holes which allows the rain fall through, leaving the steep steps and flat surface of the bridge covered in slippery water, which ex-Mayor of Maribyrnong, Janet Rice, calls unsafe.

Platforms and services

Platform 1:

  • Sydenham line - limited stops services to Flinders Street
  • Ballarat line - intercity services to Southern Cross
  • Bendigo/Echuca/Swan Hill line - intercity services to Southern Cross

Platform 2:

  • Sydenham line - all stations and limited stops services to Sunshine, St Albans and Watergardens
  • Ballarat/Ararat line - intercity services to Bacchuss Marsh, Ballarat, Wendouree and Ararat
  • Bendigo/Echuca/Swan Hill line - intercity services to Kyneton, Bendigo, Eaglehawk, Echuca and Swan Hill

Platform 3:

  • Werribee line all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street
  • Williamstown line - peak hour all stations and limited stops services to Flinders Street
  • Geelong/Warrnambool line - intercity services Southern Cross

Platform 4:

  • Werribee line - all stations and limited stops services to Laverton and Werribee
  • Williamstown line - peak hour all stations services to Williamstown
  • Geelong/Warrnambool line - intercity services to Geelong, South Geelong, Marshall and Warrnambool
Bus services
  • 216 Caroline Springs – Brighton Beach via Deer Park West, Sunshine, Footscray, Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Prahran (every day). Operated by Melbourne Bus Link.
  • 219 Sunshine Park – Gardenvale via Sunshine, Footscray, Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Prahran (every day). Operated by Melbourne Bus Link.
  • 220 Sunshine – Gardenvale via Footscray, Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Prahran (every day). Operated by Melbourne Bus Link.
  • 223 Yarraville – Highpoint SC via Seddon, Footscray RS (every day). Operated by Melbourne Bus Link.
  • 402 Footscray – East Melbourne via Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital, Carlton Gardens (every day). Operated by Sita Bus Lines.
  • 404 Footscray – Moonee Ponds via Flemington, Ascot Vale, Newmarket (Monday to Saturday). Operated by Sita Bus Lines.
  • 406 Footscray – East Keilor via Victoria University, Highpoint SC, Avondale Heights (every day). Operated by Westrans.
  • 409 Highpoint SC – Yarraville via Victoria University Footscray, Footscray RS (every day). Operated by Westrans.
  • 410 Footscray – Sunshine via Maidstone, Braybrook (every day). Operated by Westrans.
  • 411 Footscray – Laverton via Geelong Road, Altona Gate SC, Altona, Altona Meadows (every day). Operated by Westrans.
  • 412 Footscray – Laverton via Geelong Road, Altona Gate SC, Altona, Altona Meadows (every day). Operated by Westrans.
  • 414 Footscray – Aircraft via Geelong Road, Laverton North (Monday to Saturday). Operated by Westrans.
  • 472 Moonee Ponds – Williamstown via Ascot Vale, Flemington Racecourse, Footscray, North Williamstown RS (every day). Operated by Sita Bus Lines.
Tram services
  • 82 - Moonee Ponds
History
The original stations

On 17 January 1859 the railways arrived in Footscray when the new Williamstown line opened with trains running from the new station on Spencer Street in Melbourne to the important cargo port of Williamstown. This railway connected to the 18-month old Geelong railway at the junction near where the current Newport station lies. The railway between Footscray and Melbourne, via the new station at North Melbourne, had been made possible with the construction of a railway bridge over the Maribyrnong River. The first station ever to open in Footscray opened on this line on the opening day of service; it was not, however, where the current Footscray station lies, rather it was situated on Napier Street.

Shortly afterwards, a second railway opened to Sunbury with the junction of the two lines being at Footscray; by 1862 this railway had been extended to Sandhurst (Bendigo). Therefore, on 1 March 1859, less than two months after the first, Footscray's second railway station opened up, not far from the first, on Nicholson Street for services on this new railway.

A signal box was provided at the junction from 1879.

Current station

On 16 September 1900 the current station opened, located at the precise point of junction of the two lines. The two original stations were closed.

A number of sidings once existed at the station, now covered by car parking on the eastern side of the Newport bound lines.

The two tracks under the station were opened on 21 October 1928 as part of the South Kensington - West Footscray line, and was dual gauged in the 1960s as part of the construction of the Melbourne-Albury standard gauge line. Quadruplication of the tracks towards the city in 1976 put an end to the junction and closed the signal box. The building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

It was upgraded to a Premium Station on 31 May 1996, although the enclosed waiting area and ticket facilities were built in 1993 as part of the 'Travel Safe' program in the early 1990s.

In 2008, during peak hours 10,457 people travel thru Footscray station an hour, making it is the main gateway to the west, compared to the Wetgate bridge of only 8,814 people per hour.

In 2010 the existing ramps over the platforms were replaced with a $15 million rail footbridge.

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